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Guide to Development Speak



The quantity of goods of a specific kind that a country permits to be imported without restriction or imposition of additional charges.

Real income

The income that a household or firm receives in terms of the real goods and services it can purchase.

Redistribution policies

Policies aimed at reducing inequality in order to promote development. One of the prime examples is progressive taxation – those earning higher incomes pay more tax, which is used to finance services that help those in lower income groups.

Renewable resources

Natural resources which can be replaced so that the total supply is not fixed, for example timber. Renewable energy is energy produced from sources that will not run out, such as wind and solar power.

Research and development (R&D)

Ideas, investigation and production with a view toward improving the quality of human life, products, profits, factors of production or just plain knowledge. For example, most major international corporations have an R&D department to develop new products.


The sum of a country’s holdings of gold, Special Drawing Rights (“paper gold”) and holdings of foreign exchange under the control of monetary authorities.

Risk analysis

The technique used to determine the likelihood or chance of hazardous events occurring.

Resources - physical and human

Factors of production used to produce goods and services. Land and capital are frequently referred to as physical resources and labour as the human resource.
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